You Can’t Win, the beloved memoir of real lowdown Americana by criminal hobo Jack Black, was first published in 1926, then reprinted in 1988 by Adam Parfrey’s Amok Press, featuring an introduction by William S. Burroughs.
A journey into the hobo underworld, freight hopping around the still Wild West, becoming a highwayman and member of the yegg (criminal) brotherhood, getting hooked on opium, doing stints in jail or escaping, often with the assistance of crooked cops or judges.
Feral House’s new version takes this classic American narrative much further, including two remarkable nonfiction articles by Jack Black written for Harper’s Magazine in the 1920s. Extraordinary illustrations by Joe Coleman and new biographical revelations by Donald Kennison round out the new edition.
You Can't Win
Feral House 2013. New paperback; 317 pages